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Know your SdKfz 251/16 Flammpanzer!


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Found this while researching Japanese stuff for Kingfish. Not only does it have our take on the vehicle, but also the paraphrased German tactical instructions on how this thing should be used. Please note that in the CM games, the flexible flame projector which can be used while dismounted and with the AFV in defilade is NOT modeled. Thus, the CM version has two pintle mounted, shielded flame projectors, left and right, plus the shielded MG in the usual position.

http://www.lonesentry.com/flamethrower/index.html

Regards,

John Kettler

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Again an interesting read, John. I really wonder whether there have been many succesful actions with 251/16s. Especially considering the vulnerability of the 251s, even against fire from small arms. I know of at least a few succesful actions, for example by the Hohenstaufen division, on the 29th of June 1944 near Grainville against the 8th Royal Scots in an orchard position (as described in Daglish ' Operation Epsom, over the battlefield'). It is mentioned in that book that ' Two armoured flame-throwing vehicles mader their way into the company areas, ' where they miled round and killed a lot of men in a particularly unpleasant manner before they withdrew'. If I understand correctly the RS was in the proces of being relieved by another unit, and probably in some sort of disorder. In those conditions one can imagine 251/16s being effective. Does anyone know of other actions with 251/16s?

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Panzer_M 2.0,

Not only were they in service in this theater, but the U.S. had a particularly unpleasant encounter with some at what I want to say was Troina, where they rolled into town, spraying flame all over the place. Here's a description of the beast, together with an unfortunately no location given combat encounter.

http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/pz3ft/index.html

There's another interesting angle here, in that the German flame agent contains creosote, which is nasty and smelly all by itself, let alone when burning. Bear in mind that wooden railroad ties, often used for garden projects, are never to be burned, being soaked in the stuff to prevent rot. I think one good whiff of burning creosote would be enough to start the crew choking and coughing.

http://www.lonesentry.com/manuals/tme30/ch8sec6sub4.html

Aragorn2002,

That's right in Kingfish's recent op design territory. You might ping him to see whether he's aware of this. I certainly wasn't. Compare the grisly British description with the paraphrased German translation at the original link regarding the fate of men who pop up close to the 251/16.

Der Alte Fritz,

A most attention getting video series!

Regards,

John Kettler

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Again an interesting read, John. I really wonder whether there have been many succesful actions with 251/16s. Especially considering the vulnerability of the 251s, even against fire from small arms.

an Osprey booklet i have about flammpanzers gives the idea that the halftrack was more liked than the panzers. perhaps the grenadiers were just more familiar with close range actions or perhaps the extra mobility was a crucial component. IIRC commanders used the flame halftracks most of all for a shock effect at night and liked to have a siren installed on the halftrack for extra effect.

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HTs are PzGren "owned", tanks are "borrowed" (or do lead).

251 is proof vs small arms, even vs SMK. Vs dedicated AT, both die.

HT has two small projectors reacting quickly, creating a good "active" defence in all directions. Tank has one on a relative slow turret.

But most important:

The PzGren are on the outside of the tank... but inside the 251.

So which one would you prefer?

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Panzer_M 2.0,

Aragorn2002,

That's right in Kingfish's recent op design territory. You might ping him to see whether he's aware of this. I certainly wasn't. Compare the grisly British description with the paraphrased German translation at the original link regarding the fate of men who pop up close to the 251/16.

That occured during the II SS Pz Corp's counterattack on the 29th. The scenario I am (still) working on covers the 10th HLI's attack two days earlier.

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